Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ta-Nehisi Coates' Awesome Blind Item.

Yes, Ta-Nehisi Coates' new piece is brilliant. It's gotten a lot of play from liberals, all deserved. None, however, have addressed the elephant in the room: Who was the "5'11 (maybe?) white dude" Coates nearly clocked during the 2008 Democratic National Convention?

...I was supposed to meet Carr after the speeches and grab dinner. But while I was in the National Journal area a person who I'd written about (not an employee of Atlantic Media) came into the tent and aggressively challenged me on something I'd written about him. 

We spent ten frankly embarrassing minutes jawing back and forth. That's fine. People should aggressively challenge you. Toward the end, Carr, wondering where I was, came in and saw me in mid-argument, which by this point had gotten heated. He gave me that "you damn fool" look and said "I'm going to be there, [whatever the restaurant was] either you're coming or not. But this is stupid." He left, and shortly thereafter I started walking away with Alyssa and few of the other bloggers who were hanging out. The gentleman kept after me, even following me out the tent, and by this point, taunting. 

At the door of the tent, and I looked at him and said, "You really need to back off." 

He looked back and said, "Or what." 

I closed in on him, and quietly but seriously, responded, "You really want to find out?"

Here are my top picks, all whom were tweaked by Coates either during, or just prior to, the convention:

  • Richard Cohen. During the convention, Coates observed that he "make[s] some shit up." TNC correctly identified the Postman as "vapid" and "too weak to just out and say you hate somebody's guts." He also -- again, correctly -- noted that Cohen's item in question will filled with "barely functional English."
  • James Carville. Carville's a little on the tall side -- 6'2", apparently. Still, perhaps he was ticked that Coates wrote that he and Begala's analysis wasn't to be trusted because they "really just look like they're pushing their next book"? (True!)
  • Howard Wolfson. Coates called him a "world-class primary-denier." I'm not sure what that means, but I'm pretty sure it isn't nice.
  • Lanny Davis. "Any Hillary supporter who thinks that Lanny Davis,  Bob Johnson and Bill Clinton were effective surrogates is smoking," he wrote. (Also true!)

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